Community rallies behind Seattle elementary school with no playground

SEATTLE -- Beacon Hill International Elementary has no playground. There is not enough money for one, the school district says.

So Beacon Hill Principal Andra Maughan now has to think outside of the box to keep her kids active.

“Play is a very important part of learning,” Maughan said.

The previous playground, at 40 years of age, had showed its rust, sharp edges and gaps. So it was recently demolished.

“All of it is a liability issue for the kids to be playing around on,” parent Meri Joswiak said.

The school was hoping for a replacement but Seattle Public Schools says it does not have the money to build any new playgrounds.

It’s a common story across the state with state lawmakers failing to fully fund public education.

Earlier this month,  Q13 News told you about Hawthorne Elementary in Everett, where kids have suffered broken bones and pinched fingers because of their old playground. Hawthorne Elementary is in the process of raising money for a new playground -- and now so is Beacon Hill International.

Joswiak, who also works part-time for the school, is now spending much of her time raising money.

“Kids are donating their allowance money, and in all forms, it’s everybody,” Joswiak said.

They need $75,000 -- so far they’ve raised $6,000.

“Six thousand dollars for this school is a million. Our families don’t have extra money, this is very hard for us,” Joswiak said.

About 60% of their students are on free or reduced lunch but Joswiak is encouraged by the passion behind the need. Students are making fliers hoping to help in some way.

“It’s easy to say we are a poor school; we are not, we are so rich in the families that we have,” Joswiak said.

The school says $75,000 will get them a really good playground but if they can get to $40,000, that will get them a decent one.

If you would like to donate, go to the school’s website for more information.